The Intro

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Hi friends. I had this whole concept planned out of setting up a post where I detail all the ways I've been planning this trip, how I figured out what to pack, narrowed down the cameras I would bring (got it to 5 if you include my iphone, you're welcome all) but like most things, I'm pretty unprepared on that front. I wanted to get something out here on this blog to fill some space though so here's the story of Canuck if you Buck, or, How I Stupidly Planned a 7,000 Mile Road Trip for Just Me and My Dog. Strap in fam, let's hit the road (ha ha ha). 

The story starts the same way all of my stories start. I saw someone do a dope thing online so I decided to figure out how I could also do that dope thing. I was sitting around on my phone scrolling through my Instagram explore feed last December and I came across this image by @jess.wandering

And I thought it was damn near the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, so I decided I had to go there, see that beautiful thing, and take that beautiful picture -- just with my dog, too. As most of you know, I work in pro sports so it can be tough to find enough time off during hockey and basketball season to make long term trips work. There's only a handful of times during the season that are really available -- pre-season, holidays, all-star, and pre-playoffs. Since it was already the holidays and would be too soon to plan a trip over the all-star breaks, I decided to go mid-late March and hit the trip right before the playoff push.

And then I remembered science, and Canada, and realized that going to Lake Louise in March would mean that instead of beautiful turquoise waters to canoe on with my dog, I'd be driving a week across the country to stare at a large sheet of ice. So I postponed to September.

As it turns out, postponing wasn't such a bad idea. I have big dreams and big adventures and the tendency to think I can do literally anything, when in reality I have a 2002 Hyundai Sonata and limited alpine hiking experience beyond walking up a hill to go sledding. And while taking a soul-searching trip with G across the states would've been an incredible experience, G can neither change a tire nor take the night shift across South Dakota... so I found someone who could.

Dylan and I met through my roommate Hannah sometime last summer. She goes to law school with his best friend, saw that I was spending one too many Friday nights devastatingly single -- marathoning Pretty Little Liars, shoveling popcorn into my mouth and cuddling exclusively with my dog -- and decided to set us up. She invited me to a party at his place, we exchanged maybe 10 words, and then I left to go meet up with a friend in Arlington. Literally chose Arlington over this setup. Says it all.

Gagne, the good boy, telling me tactfully with his eyes that honey u need to get out more all u do is take pictures of ur dog

Gagne, the good boy, telling me tactfully with his eyes that honey u need to get out more all u do is take pictures of ur dog

A few months later Hannah invited me to the Eagles-Redskins game, which Dylan so graciously happened to provide the tickets to, and lowkey setup #2 was on. This one worked though and we actually hit it off. He was rooting for the wrong team but we wound up bonding hard over some of my absolute favorite things: free chicken fingers, warm car beers, and chance the rapper. The rest is history. 

I talked to Dylan about my trip for months before we both came to the realizations that 1. we could (probably) tolerate each other for two weeks on the road and 2. that he'd have to come with me if I ever wanted to make it there and back alive. He agreed to join me and we officially decided to commit to The Road Trip.

A few months ago we requested off from work. We started booking Airbnbs. We told people. And basically ever since then we've been planning mindlessly as the nervous laughter picked up until we realized this week like, holy shit, this is an actual thing that we're going to do, like we told so many people, we literally have to do this now. 

With Dylan's help, I refined our itinerary, nailed down all our stops and added a few more for his benefit. We'll be seeing friends, family, strangers, mountains, lakes, parks, and dear god please I hope no snakes or spiders or bears (unless they are cute and small and just doing little bear things!!!) along the way. We've partnered with my dear friend Casey's new shoe brand, Sylven New York, to put her beautiful waterproof boots to the test and take some dope photos too.

We leave this Friday. All told, we've got 17 days, 20 stops, and nearly 7,000 miles of adventuring to do, so I hope y'all come along with us and enjoy the ride!